With strong play, Hawks leave Titans scoreless

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The Bishop Hendricken Hawks trounced the Toll Gate Titans 10-0 in five innings at Mickey Stevens Sports Complex April 9. 

Hendricken junior Tucker Flint had two triples and three RBI and Matt Smaldone, also a junior, added two RBI with a double.

Hendricken senior Nico Salvaggio earned the win pitching four innings, giving up two runs while striking out five. For the Titans, it was Matthew Martinez on the bump. The senior pitched four innings, allowing six runs, four earned, on six hits with four strikeouts.

Hendricken pushed across a run during each of the first three innings, but it wasn’t until the top of the fifth that the Hawks erupted for seven more runs.

“Their pitcher was tough,” Hendricken head coach Ed Holloway said. “He was mixing it up. He had good stuff early and they made good plays. We got some runs, but it was like 1, 1, 1 and then their pitcher may have tired a little bit and we got some big hits and put together a good inning. They’re a good team and we’re happy with the way we played today and we just need to keep getting better.”  

Toll Gate head coach Nick Durand was happy with the way that Martinez performed in his first start of the season.

“I thought Matt pitched very well,” Toll Gate head coach Nick Durand said. “I was happy he was getting ahead of counts. He missed maybe one or two spots and they capitalized. That’s a very good hitting team.”

Durand has seen progress from his hitters since the opener.

“I think our approaches at the plate were better,” Durand said. “We didn’t hit the ball all that well, but at least the approach was better. And this is only our second time practicing outside so we’ll get better.”

With two outs in the top of the first, Hendricken’s Flint blasted a shot off the center field wall for a standup triple. Then, Will Panarello brought him home with an RBI double up the middle and gave the Hawks a 1-0 edge.

Toll Gate loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning on two walks and a single, but Salvaggio earned back-to-back strikeouts on Connor Tainsh and Jacob Paul to get out of the inning unscathed.

The Hawks scratched across another run in the top of the second when Jaimen Albizu laid down a bunt along the first baseline and Toll Gate’s Martinez raced over to scoop it, but slipped before rushing a throw over the first baseman’s head. With that error, came home Kevin Gower with Hendricken’s second run.

In the top of the third, Hendricken tacked on another run when Conor Kiely, a senior, hit a dribbler down the third baseline and Toll Gate third baseman Ryan Carlson failed to make the barehanded play. Then, Kiely stole second and when Martinez tossed over to second to get him, he missed the target and Kiely moved up to third. Then, Flint grounded out to the second baseman, allowing Kiely to score, increasing the Hawks lead to 3-0.

Albizu led off the top of the fifth with a double down the first baseline. Then, David Bordieri rocketed one at the shortstop Amadeo Ucci, who bobbled it and both runners were safe at the corners. Then, Kiely got a hit to score Albizu, making it 4-0.

Then, Toll Gate brought in Ryan Carlson to pitch.

Flint, the first batter Carlson faced, crushed a shot to right-center field for a two-run triple, increasing the Hendricken advantage to 6-0.

Next, Carlson walked Panarello before throwing a passed ball to the next hitter, Domenic Crocenzi, which allowed Flint to score from third, increasing the Hawks lead to 7-0.  Then, Smaldone hit a laser over the left fielder’s head and drove in two more runs, making it 9-0. With two outs, Albizu knocked in Gower and gave Hendricken a 10-0 lead.

Hendricken moves to 0-1 on the season while Toll Gate falls to 0-2.

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